Socially Support the King!

A strong platform of humans rights creates an interesting conundrum: It assigns an arbitrary, idealized definition of self to all individuals that has no bearing on nor interaction with their role in society. This self is not a concrete social standing, but an abstract ideal. Such abstract ideals were formerly reserved for nobility and the clergy, the members of which represented the highest abstract notions of nobility and divinity.

So …

What happens when people lose strong, clearly defined identities to abstract and arbitrary ones?

Continue reading

The Pirate Moot, Chapter 3: With the Spring comes December

Table of Contents


On a not-quite-so-cold day, late in the spring, Seji practiced her martial arts with the Sisters of Kril in the rocky flat outside the monastery. It was an easy place to slip, stumble, or fall, making it an ideal practice ground. She has been practicing with them for nearly a year. At first the acolytes had much to teach her and she has much rust to shake off, but today she was leisurely fending them off as they came at her in waves. It had taken some time to convince them to not hold back, but today the rocky plain glistened with sweat, blood, and the deep scoring of deadly magicks. The blood was mostly hers, she was going easy on them, but their healers would still be getting plenty of practice when this was done.

She was about to call for a break when she was nearly taken down by an especially agile acolyte as she was distracted by two people walking toward them from the north.

Continue reading

The sublime typo

We are a culture that likes to make the claim of be a textual culture, a culture of written words, but we only have one word for typos: typo.

We have thousands of words for colors, even the ugly colors, an excess of creative neologisms for finding new and inventive ways to talk about things that have gone terribly wrong in sports plays, or politics, or even interpersonal relations.

But when it comes to things gone amiss in the written word, it is a typo. 

Continue reading

The wait for the Messiah® is over!

GENMES

Hubris one leads to you buying round two.

Everybody strophe!

Yes, that really does say “HE’BREW: The chosen beer.”

Now to find out if it is any good. If it is like most religions, it will probably have sort of dry, sort of bitter aftertaste, and consuming too much of it will leave you less than coherent and prone to do stupid things only to claim afterwards that the beer made you do it.

Courtesy of Schmaltz Brewing Company via the beverage center.

Equivalent content

Equivalent content: a brief lesson in basic design principles.

Equivalent content is content that serves the same function as that which it replaces. This equivalency is one of intent and meaning, not of visual appearance, unless the visual appearance is the meaning you are trying to convey. This is a critical and easily addressed point in making Web sites accessible.

Consider this good example of describing visual appearance:

This detail image of the hand of Michalengelo’s David clearly shows how it was disproportionately large, perhaps deliberately scaled to be more prominent when seen from a distance.

Continue reading

The Pirate Moot, Chapter 2: You just need a catalyst

Table of Contents


There were plenty of questions that got answered when Ornery returned after two years without so much as a letter, though not immediately, and probably not of the important ones. Okay, really, most of the answers weren’t answers at all.

“Where where you?”

“Had to go someplace.”

“What were you doing?”

“Things.”

“Why?”

“To escape all yer questions.”

Continue reading

The Pirate Moot, Chapter 1: A story is continued

Table of Contents


I leaped dramatically though the hatch on to the deck, successfully dodging any new explosions that didn’t happen anyway, doing a roll across the deck and springing smoothly to my feet all on one smooth move.

Absolutely no one noticed.

Everyone was too busy paying attention the small fleet of pirate ships chasing after us. Even Officer Puppy had his back to me.

It was not my greatest moment.

Continue reading

Stupid ideas: shameful self promotion

I know. This is a stupid idea.

I’m sorry.

I mean, everyone else is so busy engaging in shameless self promotion, that I thought it would help me stand out. Besides, people who engage in shameless self-promotion are eventually accused of engaging in shameful self-promotion anyway. So … cut right to the chase.

I’m sorry. You hate me already don’t you? It was a really stupid idea.

But maybe, if it is not too much trouble, I don’t want to put you out or anything, if you could, not to say you have to, take a faint glimmer of interest in this blog, it would be awesome. Though not too awesome, I wouldn’t want to make a fool of myself with an ego that was ten sizes too big for me.

I mean, I don’t even know how to tell the difference between shameless self-promotion and shameful self-promotion. I mean, just when I think I have it figured out, someone claims someone else I was sure was shameless was most shameful indeed. What would happen if I tried to do it and got it wrong? I could never live it down. Everyone would be looking at me and thinking “You shameless self-promoter you! You should be ashamed of yourself!” And that would be just awful. I mean, shouldn’t it be easy to be able to tell shameless self promotion from shameful self promotion? They aren’t synonyms or anything. I guess it means I’m just stupid or something.

Oh God, I feel terrible just thinking about it. I’m going to go under a rock and hide. Maybe it will squish me. Problem solved.

But really, even just a passing shrug to know you at least glanced my way before dismissing me. I mean, unless you have a shoulder injury or something and that would aggravate it. Then I would feel all bad that you injured yourself more. Maybe if you just gave the affect of having looked, so I wouldn’t have to be ashamed at the horrible things you saw here. That would be okay too.

I’m sorry. Please don’t hold it against me. It was a stupid idea.

The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 26: Another birthday of broken things

Table of Contents


It took three days with heavy equipment to dig the crawler out from under the cliff it had toppled on itself. The only major damage aside from an engine being ruined in the explosion was the cockpit. The control panel was totally shot, filled with fragments of the shattered pilot’s chair it had embedded itself in. Anything between them would have been as broken as it was.

Continue reading